Goals everywhere: Nigeria’s Iheanacho, Osimhen, Onoachu, Nwankwo are lighting Europe
Nigeria may have struggled to break down Benin away in their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in March, but it seems there are no other African team that can boast the firepower of the Super Eagles right now.
On Sunday alone, four of the national side’s prominent attacking players were all among the goalscorers in some of Europe’s biggest leagues – a testament to the quality of offensive options available to Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr.
The past weekend provided an outstanding goalscoring prowess of Nigeria’s biggest stars, with Victor Osimhen and Kelechi Iheanacho both making great impacts for Leicester City – in the English Premier League and Napoli – in the Italian Seria A.
Fellow Super Eagles striker Nwankwo and Onuachu are also giving opposing defenders in the Seria A and Belgian league a hard time.
Onuachu continued his fine form this last weekend after scoring for Nigeria in both matches played during the last international break – against Benin Republic and Lesotho.
The Super Eagles striker scored Racing Genk’s final goal in their 4-0 victory over Sint-Truiden in the Belgian Jupiler League.
Genk’s unbeaten run to seven matches as they remain on course for the Belgian title. The Nigerian striker now has 27 goals in the Belgian top flight this season.
Onuachu is currently the leading scorer in a single season in Belgium since Luigi Pieroni scored 27 goals in 2003-04 season.
Iheanacho maintained his superb goalscoring form but was unable to prevent Leicester City from enduring another wobble in their season.
The Foxes were 3-0 down having been completely undone by West Ham United before Iheanacho launched his one-man survival mission with 20 minutes to play.
Iheanacho first capitalised on an error from Congo’s Arthur Masuaku before slamming home a 20-yard drive and then tucked in a Marc Albrighton cross to further reduce the deficit in second-half stoppage-time.
The striker now has 11 goals in his past 11 matches in all competitions for the Foxes, and has equalled his previous Premier League best – eight goals scored with Manchester City in 2015/16.
However, his heroics were unable to prevent Leicester from slumping to a second consecutive defeat.
Leicester City’s loss puts them only two points clear of Chelsea in the race for UEFA Champions League football, and one ahead of the Hammers, with seven games to play.
Osimhen scored a goal and was influential in the second goal as Napoli defeated Sampdoria 2-0 to boost their UEFA Champions League aspirations.
The 22-year-old, who returned to the starting line-up after being benched for the midweek defeat by Juventus, had a point to prove, and he duly responded to his previous omission with arguably his best performance since arriving in Italy.
His goal was a fine right-footed finish after bursting in behind the defence three minutes from full-time after fine work from Dries Mertens. It was his third in his past four appearances (and his past three starts) for club and country.
Osimhen finally appears to be finding the measure of consistency in front of goal – which previously eluded him since signing for Napoli.
He has scored nine goals for the Genaro Gattuso-led side.
“We are seeing the real Osimhen,” ex-Internazionale midfielder and youth coach Benoit Cauet said on the Radio Kiss Kiss show in the aftermath of the triumph.
“He had to settle in as once he arrived in Italy, [but] now he is starting to show what he was also doing at Lille.”
Simeon ‘Simy’ Nwankwo continued his sublime goalscoring form in Serie A, with his latest goal for Crotone as they continue to battle against slipping into relegation.
The striker put the Sharks ahead in the 78th minute away at Spezia to score his 16th league goal of the season, and his ninth goal in his past six game.
Nwankwo’s Crotone later threw away their advantage and slipped to a 3-2 defeat.
Crotone, with only four wins all season and 12 points from safety, are fast running out of time to pull off a miraculous great escape.
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